Current publishing trends

Lest I mislead you with this title, I’m focused mostly on personal sites here. I don’t care much for the trends of bigger publications; those with their overlaid ads or “enjoy 1 of 5 free articles” banners. But the trend I’m referring to for smaller, more personal and less corporate sites is a move away from the structure of the traditional blog towards a larger focus. In talking about relevancy vs. recency, my pal Shawn Blanc discussed his own site. He was making the comparison between relevancy and recency, where the traditional blog style leans towards the…

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Make it boring

Joshua Platt shares his own thoughts on owning your own content. He agrees with my sentiments, but adds that this type of thing can also lead to more tinkering than actual writing. That's an excellent point. I've tended to stick to a cycle of a refresh of my site every 2 years. I deviate occasionally, but the desire to tinker with the design occurs far more frequently than that. But I force myself to leave things as they are when that happens. I admire those like Shawn Blanc, who write far more than they tinker. Others, like John Gruber, could…

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Building a typographic foundation with style sheets

Jason Tselentis makes the case for designing “type first”, then outlines a process for doing just that. His premise is good: Today, mobile first has become second nature, but in order to ensure the design works well on small to medium to large screens, you have to think “type first.”My own habits have changed slightly over the years, but as I don't tend to design large scale sites or applications, a robust process has not been necessary. But if I were to create one, I can't see myself using Markdown or the preview modes in various Markdown editors as…

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Random musings From XOXO

For people who work on the web, we are blessed with a flexibility that has rarely been available to men and women throughout the ages. We can work from anywhere. Live anywhere. And work with and talk to people from anywhere. This flexibility also allows us to meet in person those people that inspire us in our work. For me, my situation is slightly less flexible than many. I have a good sized family and live far from the larger cities where most events take place. And so my first web focused conference has been a long time coming. I…

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Reading list

Like many other geeks, I'm constantly evaluating my tool set. With Google Reader’s imminent shutdown, I've been considering the alternatives for RSS, as well as the options for getting news in other ways. And in the category of bookmarking and read-it-later services, I've moved back and forth between different services over the years. The news of Instapaper’s sale got me considering the options once again. I've tried the big ones. I used Instapaper fairly early on and it's a wonderful app. However, it’s never been the most lovely service to look at. The iOS apps are decent,…

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Selling your hard work

For anyone who has used PayPal to collect payments online, I have felt your pain. When it comes to trusting services to help you run your business, most web focused entrepreneurs have little desire to let PayPal keep their finances in order. PayPal does have its advantages. It's accessible in most countries, does not require a credit card, and is straightforward to use for the consumer. However, as the one making a sale, its detractions far outweigh the benefits. The fees are significant enough to get your attention, the UI is a dog’s breakfast, and we’ve all heard…

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Little bits of words

Finding words can be hard. Finding the just perfect words even harder. But given enough space and time, experience has taught me that I can find them. But what about when the space is extremely limited? That's the situation I currently find myself in. I'm working on the marketing site for a new personal project. Marketing sites are tricky. First, I personally have to feel really good about the product or service … I have no desire to shill needless items on people in order to earn an income. But if I've identified a real need, then I can feel good…

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